play with your food

Guest Blog by Clare Mathieson

Kids are often told not to play with their food. I say let them play with their food.

As a mother of three children under 8, I want my kids to eat fresh, real and tasty food and I want them to enjoy what they are eating. We do lots of baking and cooking at home but my newest hobby is playing with food. Making food art for my children started in an attempt to encourage a friend’s little boy to eat salad (it was successful). I loved doing it, the children kept asking for more and I haven’t been able to stop!

My kids love guessing what I am making and then demolishing it almost immediately afterwards. I’m talking ingredients such as broccoli, quinoa, red cabbage, lentils – they eat it all. They often make their own food art now too – for themselves but also for me. It is cute to see what they come up with but the best bit has been the improvement in their kitchen skills – lots of chopping and making their own snacks and lunches. I have only one rule: no food is to be wasted. Everything used in our food art creations is to be eaten.

They don’t have to be fancy or complex – a smiley face made out of salad would do the trick. Depending on their age and skill level, kids can definitely get involved and help out with picking ingredients, chopping (younger kids can use Foost knife or butter knife) and creating their own plate to eat. My four year old is now a super star at chopping fruit and vegetables from making his own food art. The food art is sometimes based on what ingredients we have on hand, but other times we get an idea from a book or picture we’ve seen and try to create it. I have been looking for a suitable knife for kids to use for ages – I came across the Foost knives recently and am so pleased as now I know their little fingers are safe! They have found them easy to use and are very excited to have their own knives.

Humpty Dumpty Food Art

The food art at top of blog included a tortilla that we made together (so much easier than I expected and oh so yummy) and lots of veggies.

You could use so many different ingredients here. I have previously made the wall out of wholegrain toast pieces for breakfast. Our Humpty was made from a hard-boiled egg, capsicum and carrot . The wall was built from yellow and red capsicum pieces. The hill was a piece of tortilla with avocado and some steamed broccoli for the tree. The butterfly was a cherry tomato with a carrot.

For ideas or inspiration, visit:
http://instagram.com/ladydotdotdot
http://ladydotdotdot.wordpress.com

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